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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Be a Delight Machine

The other day I was in one of my "people-pleasing" modes.  I was worrying too much about someone's feelings and someone's reaction and someone's opinion.  The "too much" aspect comes in because I was feeling defensive and anxious when in reality, this person's feelings had nothing whatsoever to do with me.  That's when "people-pleasing" is a problem and not a gift.  I really hate it when I slip into that mode because it's really useless and honestly, a bit selfish.  Anyway, the lovely and talented Mrs. C. was listening to my angst about this situation and finally she said to me, "Oh, please.  You can't possibly be worried about that person being upset with you.  YOU ARE A DELIGHT MACHINE, MRS. S."

The lovely and talented Mrs. C. is exactly the kind of friend everyone needs and it's really not because she said I was a delight machine because the good Lord (and many a member of my family) knows I am very often far from delightful.  But, what I thought later, was that Mrs. C. was reminding me of the good I do have and can have.  She was affirming that we can be goodness and light in any situation.  And she's such a good friend that she told me that even when I was being sort of pathetic with misplaced guilt and immature hand-wringing.

I think Mrs. C. was giving me both a challenge and a reminder really.  Just like those WWJD bracelets.  What would Jesus do in an uncomfortable situation, in an awkward conversation, in the midst of a conflict? 

Well, He would turn the other cheek.  He would put Himself in the other person's shoes for a bit.  He wouldn't get defensive and whiney.  He would show grace and compassion.  To be sure, He was the ultimate DELIGHT MACHINE.

So I headed into the weekend thinking, JUST BE A DELIGHT MACHINE.  And let me tell you something.  There are times when it is easier than others.

For example, one might be at a baseball game when there is a person sitting on the other side of the ball field whose team happens to be beating one's child's team by a gazillion (give or take) runs.  And the losing of the game would not be all that difficult to take if perhaps that person on the other side did not bring a DRUM to the game and beat on it AFTER.EVERY.SINGLE. PLAY.  And then there might be another parent on that team's side that continues to YELL/INSTRUCT/SHOUT/COACH from the bleachers after EVERY.SINGLE.PITCH and EVERY.SINGLE.SWING in the loudest, most excruciating voice ever so that even though one is not sitting next to said voice, one is quite sure that her eardrums are going to BUST WIDE OPEN. 

So one watches the rest of the game with one hand over her right ear and one hand gripping the heck out of her chair because one is starting to have a physical response to the drum/yelling and one thinks perhaps she might . . .

A. fold herself into a ball and start doing the superfreak.
B.  consider contacting the US military and telling them that they don't have to do that waterboarding thing anymore because there are two straight-up American citizens right here at the ball park who could simply use a combination drum/excruciating voice tactic to make any potential terrorist SING.LIKE.A.BIRD.
C.  not be able to stop herself from stomping into the dugout, kicking the coach off the bucket, grabbing a baseball, winding up and throwing a strike right into the center of that person's drum.

Look, I know you want to hear that A, B or C happened because that would be a good story, but the answer is none of the above. 

The answer is:
D.  one would remember what her very good friend said, one would trust that she is big enough not to stoop to a low level and then one would breathe in as much Jesus as she could and repeat as many times as she must:

Dear Sweet Lord, please, please, please, let me be A DELIGHT MACHINE.

And by goodness, it would work because even though that drum keeps beating and that voice keeps shouting, one would be able to keep her tush in the chair and she would know in her heart that though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and if not for the grace and miraculous power of the Lord, she might have come at those people like a spider monkey. 

This world is full of challenging situations - some are painfully difficult and some are just annoying.  We are faced with those who might try to break us down.  We are faced with those who test our patience.  We are faced with those who can be mean and destructive.  We are faced with those who can make us feel small and unworthy.  And sometimes we are faced with people who just flat out get on our last nerve.
People, go out with bravery today.  Go out with a smile.  Go out with a purpose.  Call upon the Lord and then


He can make it so.

1 comment:

Jill D. said...

Love it! I woke up feeling less than delightful, but you've inspired me to turn it around!!